Bean-templating Word
March 2, 2011 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Help me create my special snowflake Word template

Some good friends of mine have started a small business and asked me to do their logo and letterhead. Not a problem. Now, however, they would really like to have a Word template of the letterhead design. I've actually never made a letterhead template for Word, and all the instructions I'm finding online don't exactly work with the parameters of this particular design.

Details of the design...
The letterhead design they want features a graphic running full-length down the left side of the page. This graphic includes their logo, which sticks further out into the page at the top. Across the bottom of the page is the contact info. Because of the full-length graphics, I've opted to simply create a full-page .png for insertion into the background of the Word doc.

How I need the template to work...
They only want the graphics to appear on the first page. All following pages should be blank. However, because of the graphics, the first page needs to have more restricted margins set. All following pages should have more normal margins.

I've played with simply inserting the graphic into the document (with text set to run over the top) and set the margins to accommodate the graphics. This works great until I add a following page. I can't get a second page to accept margins different from the first page. There's also the problem that the background image isn't locked, so the user can move the thing accidentally.

I've inserted the image into the header (which locks it down.) You can scale it to 100% so it covers the whole page even though it's in the header. The problem with this approach is that the image, because it's in the header, is repeated on following pages. And, there's still the margin issue.

Basically, I need the first page with a background image and particular margin settings, and all following pages with no image and completely different margin settings. I can get the first page made and working great, but when I add a second blank page, all hell breaks loose.

Soooo...Anyone have any helpful tips for me to accomplish this task and make my friends happy? This is in Word 2008/Mac, btw. I'm sure I'm doing this wrong and missing some double-secret toggles somewhere. I generally stay away from Word at all costs, so I'm feeling pretty lost with this task.

posted by Thorzdad to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have an older version of word, but mine has an option for a "different first page" for the header in the toolbar that pops up. That might solve part of your problem?
posted by sparrow89 at 1:21 PM on March 2, 2011

The same hold true for the latest version. Once you have that selected, it will only affect the header though. You have to do the same to the footer for page numbers.
posted by lampshade at 1:25 PM on March 2, 2011

Have you tried with section breaks instead of page breaks? I know that, if you separate the document by sections, you can set different margins for the sections (when you go to that part of Page Setup, there should be a drop-down list that lets you choose "whole document", "this section", etc.).
posted by neushoorn at 1:27 PM on March 2, 2011

Response by poster: I have an older version of word, but mine has an option for a "different first page" for the header in the toolbar that pops up.

I've tried that option, but it never seemed to work for me.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:38 PM on March 2, 2011

Response by poster: Have you tried with section breaks instead of page breaks?

I don't know anything about section breaks. Not even sure how that works.
Frankly, I find the entire interface of Word to be mystifying and overly opaque...And I work in Photoshop and Illustrator!
posted by Thorzdad at 1:42 PM on March 2, 2011

I just sent you Gmail. If you want, send the template back and I will take a look at it.
posted by lampshade at 1:46 PM on March 2, 2011

Section breaks are what Word uses to delimit regions of a document that can have different page formats. A section break can optionally also do a page break. Inserting a page-breaking section break at the end of the first page is exactly the right thing to do.
posted by flabdablet at 3:31 PM on March 2, 2011

Response by poster: Well, after quite a bit of experimentation with section breaks (thanks to some very good outside help) I've decided to just let the margin formatting from the first page run into the rest of the pages. I discovered that, if you do section breaks, there can be some serious issues if the end user deletes large sections of doing a Select All>Delete, for instance...they can also end up deleting the section breaks, which plays havoc with the rest of the document. I'd rather give them something as fool-proof as possible.

Thanks all, though, for your suggestions. I learned a couple of new things about Word through this ordeal.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:17 AM on March 3, 2011

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